Burkina Faso names its 21st Ramsar Site

Burkina Faso names its 21st Ramsar Site

22 January 2019
Burkina Faso

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Complexe d’Aires Protégées Pô-Nazinga-Sissili

Burkina Faso has designated Complexe d’Aires Protégées Pô-Nazinga-Sissili as a Wetland of International Importance (Ramsar Site no. 2366). The Site covers over 300,000 hectares of West Sudanian Savannah in the Centre-sud and Centre-ouest regions; it is one of the largest areas for biodiversity conservation in the country.

The diverse flora and fauna of its different types of savannah include mammals, birds and reptiles. The complex, which is also known as “CAP/PONASI”, hosts large herbivores such as elephant, buffalo, sable antelope and waterbuck. It is also a habitat for threatened species such as the African bush elephant Loxodonta africana and the trees Afzelia africana and Vitellaria paradoxa.

The Site serves as an ecological corridor enabling large mammals such as the elephants to migrate from similar ecosystems in northern Ghana (namely the Morago River area and Mole National Park). During the European winter, it is a milestone in the migration routes of some Western Palearctic migratory birds such as storks.

The Ramsar Site includes many cultural sites. Despite the absence of a management plan, it has some tourism facilities such as watchtowers and observatories to improve the conditions for visitors. The complex is threatened by the fragmentation of its ecosystem due to livestock and arable farming  activities, logging, charcoal burning, poaching, and conflicts between people and elephants. These conflicts have a negative impact on the food security and livelihoods of the affected populations, leading them to have a hostile attitude towards wild animals around their communities.